Virtual training is teaching property owners how to succeed in home-sharing market

Virtual Airbnb Workshops Boost Tourism Efforts in Eastern Kentucky

BEREA, KY — A “How to Airbnb” training program developed by the Mountain Association is teaching property owners in Eastern Kentucky how to succeed in the home-sharing market. The Mountain Association works with local tourism offices and communities across Eastern Kentucky to host the virtual workshops.

The training was developed in response to research that found the need for more lodging in many communities, not just for tourists, but also for traveling workers and visiting family members. Airbnb is a generally low-risk way for people to earn extra income, often times without much initial investment.

As an Airbnb host, you are able to rent out a room in your home or any other type of property like a cabin, campsite or treehouse through Airbnb’s short-term rental agreement. The advantage of Airbnb is that it can connect you to a large market of guests interested in your listing, with built-in protections regarding your identity, location and payment options.

For example, after the Airbnb training in Clay County, a local resident established her own Airbnb and now brings in over $1200 per month in additional income.

Developed with the guidance of nine Airbnb hosts from across Eastern Kentucky and facilitated by an Airbnb superhost, the virtual workshop will teach participants how to develop an Airbnb listing, market their property, comply with local taxes and regulations, and more.

The Mountain Association partnered with Licking Valley Adventures to host a virtual training in the spring. Since the training, three attendees have opened their Airbnbs and are experiencing success in bookings. Tracy Pratt-Savage, director of Licking Valley Adventures, shared that she was inspired after taking the class.

“COVID-19 is changing the travel industry as we know it. In many ways, this is good news for rural Airbnb hosts as many families are looking for safe places to get away,” Pratt-Savage said. “For my personal listing, the training gave me tons of ideas, from things I need to fix to how to present my property in the very best light. I completed a business plan that was based around booking 11 nights a month and I’m doing more.”

The next training will be February 3 and 10 from 6-7:45PM facilitated by Jessa Turner of HomeGrown Hideaways in Madison County, Kentucky. To register, visit portal.mtassociation.org/course-registration/. If you are interested in hosting a training in your community, please contact Zuojay Johnson at the Mountain Association: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (859) 671-0205.

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About the Mountain Association:

The Mountain Association invests in people and places in Eastern Kentucky to advance a just transition to a new economy that is more diverse, sustainable, equitable and resilient. The Lending team offers loans to existing and startup businesses and organizations. We are a Community Development Financial Institution and a non-profit, so we can offer greater flexibility and lend to those who may not otherwise qualify. Our Business Support program connects business owners and nonprofit leaders to consultants who can help them succeed. Our Energy experts help businesses, nonprofits, public agencies and homeowners find much-needed energy savings through utility bill analysis, on-site energy efficiency and solar assessments, financing and grant application support. The Mountain Association also engages in research, communications and advocacy for policy and narrative change, and works with partners on a variety of projects to demonstrate what’s possible in Eastern Kentucky. For more information, visit www.mtassociation.org.